Peer Review Comments on the Experiment of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

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Reviewer 1: “I would like to address the study’s complete absence of a control group, for starters, but the study design isn’t the only thing here that’s out of control. The clinical applications for this type of, uh, ‘research’ are frankly rather limited, and the study’s contributions to science are quite small given the countless existing, documented cases of personality disorder (though, admittedly, most of those involve opiate- or ethanol-based agents). A quick scroll through the local arrest records existing literature on the subject should provide a sufficient overview.

Regarding the activating agent here, described as a ‘chemical salt’, it appears from the PI’s notes that the integrity of the solvent (and definitely that of the experimenter) may have been compromised. Might be something to look into.

Finally, though it seems the intent was a generous gesture, giving the experimental subject access to his own private residence, domestic staff and personal bank account appears to grossly exceed the definition of a “study incentive”. The IRS has been duly informed.”

Reviewer 2: “There appears to be no provision for reporting adverse effects, and no plans to stop the experiment as required in such cases — it’s almost as if the researchers thought the FDA’s entire regulatory protocol was ‘What the hell, let’s just see where this goes’. For some of the events recounted here in this little one-man Stanford Prison Experiment, I would like to speak to the IRB and the FDA and probably also the FBl.”

Reviewer 3: “Setting aside the question of the study’s contributions, it appears that the manuscript itself was a source of some tension. It seems from the numerous pen marks and annotations that the PI and the experimental subject had some lingering, rancorous disagreement over who, exactly, was to be first author.”

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Peer Review Comments on Frankenstein’s Monster

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Reviewer 1: “Are the neck bolts strictly necessary? It seems that the study’s author could have substituted a lithium ion battery, or a solar panel, or perhaps a wall plug and an extension cable. Maybe even a rotation-powered generator with a large wheel and a particularly enthusiastic hamster would work. It’s a thought.

I’m also confused about the numerous scars and the decision to use visible stitching — it appears there was no plastic surgeon available to consult during assembly. Or perhaps the local drugstore was just out of gas-tank-sized jars of cocoa butter?

Furthermore, I’m not quite sure if the sample really needed to be gigantic to ensure proper construction. The author may want to review some of the recent advances in laparoscopic surgery.”

Reviewer 2: “This study is not innovative; it is a slight modification of an existing method. A pilot study for animation from dead matter has been detailed in the earlier publication ‘Genesis’ (see God, et. al.). The author touches on this work but is rather vague about citing it, though the theoretical parallels are striking.

Additionally, the author’s decision to withhold key elements of his methodology is, quite frankly, questionable. This makes reproducibility impossible and impugns the veracity and reliability of his results. It’s almost as if he didn’t want the study replicated.”

Reviewer 3: “Entirely unimpressive. This is not the monster I would have created.”

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